While the week before had nothing to really talk about that is new, this week there is a whole host of updates and great new things to play with so here are the latest details.

Power BI – Power BI August Desktop Release

Whilst this picture above may not look like much it is incredible with this new “What If” can do for your data and your users.

There are some great new features in the August release of Power BI desktop which I will cover below.


The great thing that they have done with the reporting is how many updates they have made with Matrix and now you can easily put your measures on rows. This is fantastic and in the past I had to create a whole stack of measures to get this done.

You can now also use Conditional Formatting on the Font Colour, so if your data is low or high you can then put in some conditional formatting. This is again a great feature and on the way to allowing to show KPIs in the Matrix

There has also been updates and improvements for line charts, as you can see below to have custom settings for each of the line charts, as well as line marker options which means that you can customize it as to your requirements.

There has also been some new Custom Visuals added which are the Dot Plot, Power KPI, Funnel Plot and Beyond Soft Calendar which can show you ways to gain deeper insights into your data with some great ways to show what is happening within your data.


As with the first picture one of the great new features is the What If parameter. I think that this is a killer feature as it is something business users have been asking for. As well as the implementation is relatively simple which makes it easy to integrate as well as leverage in existing Power BI Datasets.

Next is updates to the scatter chart where you can now use the Symmetry shading which will show you which has a higher value based on the X-Axis measure compared to the Y-Axis measure or vice versa

Along with this there is now also the ratio line, which is used to define the ratio of the subtotals to the x-axis and y-axis measures. Which allows you to quickly see based on either axis what your data is telling you.

There is also a new Quick measure called Weighted Average, this is where this measure calculates a weighted average of the base value for each category. This can be really handy when comparing different values.

Data Connectivity

In this month’s release connecting to the Power BI Service dataset is now generally available. As well as now you can connect to Google BigQuery which I am sure people who utilize Google BigQuery will be excited to bring their data into Power BI.

You can find all the details as well as the YouTube video here: Power BI Desktop August Feature Summary

Power BI – Timeline Story Custom Visual

I am really excited to see that the TimeLine Story Custom visual has been released in the Office store for Power BI. This was shown at the Data Insights Summit and it showed how powerful this visualization can be. Now that it is available I cannot wait to use it on my own data to see what it can show to the users.

You can download it from the following location: Office Store – Timeline Storyteller

Power BI – Help Shape the Future of Power BI

As you can see above the Power BI team is looking for people to join the user research channel which will enable you to help shape the future by giving them your real world inputs into how and what you think is required to enable Power BI to just get better.

I have personally completed the required survey and I do hope to be selected. They do request that you complete a survey which I assume is to ensure that they are getting the right type or possibly even a good spread of people to help shape Power BI.

Here is the link to the Survey: Take our quick survey and join our research panel.

You can find more details here: Shape the future of Power BI: Join Our User Research Panel

Power BI – Text Analytics Solution Template using Bing

There is a new solution template which now allows you to use text analytics and sentiment analysis using Bing and other related Microsoft products. The difference with this solution template is that it allows you to enter your own list of words. Which was a highly requested feature. Which I think is fantastic as everyone has different requirements and this allows them to achieve this.

You can find the blog post details here: Bringing more text analytics to the Bing News Solution Template

Power BI – Azure Activity Log Analytics Solution Template

Here is another great solution template which allows you to do analytics on your Azure Logs. This is a great way to leverage all your log data so that you can see what is happening within your organization.

I quickly installed this to see if it will allow me to view my log data for what has been happening inside Power BI, and I can


You can find more details here: Announcing the Power BI Solution Template for Azure Activity Log Analytics

Power BI – Survey to improve Mobile Apps

If you are interested in helping Power BI with the mobile apps, here is your change to take the Survey which will give valuable information to the Power BI Mobile Apps team.

Here is a link to the Survey: Take the Survey

And here is a link to their blog post: Help improve the Power BI mobile apps

Power BI – Developer Update for August

For the first time there is a Power BI Developer update which details all the updates and changes with regards to the Power BI Development experience relating mostly to Power BI Embedded.

There is some great content in here if you are a Power BI Developer around the Embedded content. As well as some additional details around Power BI Premium as well as how you can find code samples and even test a working version to see how it works.

You can find all the details here: Power BI Developer community August update